BRIDAL GURU / Jan 28, 2022


After months of searching and saving, you've found the perfect wedding dress. While you're oh-so-excited to wear it on your big day, you may also be wondering: what will I do with my wedding dress after the wedding?

Of course, you can preserve your wedding dress—and keep it as a memento of your wedding day. But there are other ways to repurpose your dress too!

If you're wondering what to do with an old wedding dress and you're looking for creative ideas, we've got four for you right here.

1. Alter your wedding dress ✂️

Most wedding dresses—as they are—are tricky to wear again for another event because they're normally quite formal. (Hey, your wedding day is a big deal.) One way to make them less formal is by shortening the length.

You've already worked with a seamstress to make this gown fit like a glove. Why not create a custom cocktail or sundress out of it? (Or, it could be a dress to wear on your first anniversary!)

Depending on the style of your dress, you may need to consider how the top half of your dress will work with a new or shorter skirt. You may also want to explore altering your sleeves to make them less formal—like turning them into spaghetti straps.

C'mon, how cute would this dress look as a sundress?

bride wearing a sweetheart wedding dress

Get the dress: style GL1951 | 3D Floral Embroidery Sweethearted Mesh Wedding Gown w/ Detachable Spaghetti Strap

2. Dye your wedding dress 🎨

We often equate white dresses with weddings. One way to repurpose your old wedding dress so you can wear it again is by dying it.

If you decide to dye your dress yourself, make sure to check your garment's care label to determine what type of fabric it is, as that'll determine the dye you'll use.

If your fabric has cellulose fibers, like those found in cotton, linen, or rayon, you'll want to use fiber-reactive dye.

Materials like silk, wool, angora, and cashmere are made up of protein fibers, which respond best to an acid dye.

If your wedding dress is made with synthetic fibers and blends like polyester, nylon, acrylic, and acetate, you'll have the best luck with disperse dye—but it does vary for each material, so be sure to do some research before you get started.

You could dye your dress completely, create an ombre effect, or dye just the skirt—which is especially beautiful if you have a layered skirt.

Backside of Rosegold mesh dress

Get the dress: style GL3012 | 3-D Flower Embroidered Mesh A-line Dress w/ Rhinestone and Jewel Embellished

3. Get crafty with your wedding dress 🧵

What to do with an old wedding dress? How about getting crafty?

Many brides create something completely new with their wedding dresses. Here are some ideas for you:

  • a. Make a piece of jewelry: Choose a beautiful piece of fabric from your dress (like lace or an embellishment) and create an elegant piece of jewelry that you can wear on any occasion. To make it extra private and personal, add it to a locket.

  • b. Create a keepsake garter: Use the fabric to make a garter that you can pass on to another bride. They'll appreciate the sentiment!

  • c. Add meaning to your home decor: Use some of your gown's fabric to make a throw pillow or wall piece. It'll be a conversation starter—that's for sure!

  • d. Decorate your wedding album: We love seeing brides adding personal touches to their wedding albums. Use swatches of the fabric to embellish your photos.

4. Create a dress for a little one 💗

When considering what to do with an old wedding dress, many brides use the fabric to create a custom dress for a special little one in their lives. You could also save the fabric for a future little one!

Typically, these dresses are perfect for christenings or baptisms because they're white and feature similar design elements (such as tulle or lace).

If your culture or family doesn't participate in these events, you could also create an outfit for a naming ceremony or a later birthday party. No matter how they wear it, making your wedding dress into clothes for your kids is a great way to give them a little piece of your big day. (Cue the tears!)

Are you still looking for a wedding dress?

While you may be a step ahead and considering what to do with your old wedding dress, perhaps you haven't found your perfect gown yet.

Finding your wedding dress depends on several things: body type, wedding venue, time of year, among others.

To find your wedding dress based on your shape, check out this post on choosing the best wedding for your body type. If you're a curvier bride, you'll want to peep this post on the best wedding dresses for the curvy bride. Or, if you're a short bride, take a look at these three dress styles.

If you're having a small backyard wedding, these are the five best dress styles for an intimate gathering. Looking for dresses that work in the winter? Take a look at this post on winter wedding dresses.

We hope these posts help! Happy wedding dress shopping!

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